Essential Oils Fight Back for Healthy Chickens

Do you feel like chicken tonight? Canadians do love their chicken. And Canadian researchers are helping the poultry industry to produce quality chicken by keeping them healthier.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists at the Guelph Research and Development Centre are studying how essential oils can help fight bacterial gut infections in poultry, such as Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens. Lab tests found several essential oils that have strong bacteria-fighting properties. The challenge is that, when fed directly to the birds, the oils get broken down too quickly in the digestive track. However, the team found that by protecting the essential oils when they go through the upper digestive tract and releasing them in the lower gut, the oils work much better at fighting bacteria.

Essential oils don't just smell nice – they can help keep chickens healthy too!

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